Packed house for police hopefuls in Elmwood Park

The Elmwood Park Police Department only has one spot opening up in their department, but about 200 people showed up to apply for it this weekend.

The police department had their police exam Aug. 16 at Elmwood Park Parks and Recreation Department, 2 Conti Parkway. Elmwood Park Police Chief Frank Fagiano said the test consisted of an orientation session for the group, then a physical fitness and agility test followed by a written exam.

“The testing is being done by an independent company,” he said. “We’re looking to hire an officer because we will have an upcoming officer retiring Sept. 2.”

Fagiano said prior to these testing events, he usually introduces himself to the group and tells them about the village and what his department is all about.

“My comments are very brief,” he said. “I talk to them about what our expectations are and what it takes to be an Elmwood Park police officer.”

The exam is run by a company called C.O.P.S. and F.I.R.E Personnel Testing Services located in Schaumburg. The company compiles and grades test results, and compiles a list of candidates. The candidates are then presented to the village’s Police and Fire Commission, who form a hiring list.

Once a person from the list accepts the village’s offer to join the police department, the candidate has to go through a background check and a physical and mental evaluation.

“It’s a long process,” he said. “They do three months in the police academy, go through a 60 day field training program and will be on probation for 18 months.”

He said one officer is currently in the academy, going through the process to become an Elmwood Park police officer. That hire was for another, previous vacancy in the ranks.

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